China | Little Door Gods | Film
Little Door Gods 小门神
Linda Jaivin, writer and editor
I’m recommending an animated film from China that I subtitled and therefore know well. It’s called Little Door Gods 小门神 and is a commentary on how urbanisation and the pace of modern life in China has been at the expense of traditional spiritual beliefs and practices — all wrapped up in a fast-paced, extremely funny adventure story that also serves as a satirical commentary on neo-liberal metrics.
The basic premise is that 天, or Heaven, runs on the incense and spirit money that people burn at altars. But with people less and less attentive to worship, there’s less of that going around. Some of the gods are going to have to be laid off if they can’t make their quotas. One of the two Door Gods decides that people will start to worship the gods again if he releases a monster that will create havoc on earth, and the other, breaking all the rules about dealing directly with humans, pairs up with a little girl to stop him.
I realise that sounds quite mad, and it is, but in the best possible way. I’ve always wanted this film to get more attention. I love it. I’ve done a number for the company but it’s my favourite.
Director: Wang Wei
Watch it on Netflix (under the title The Guardian Brothers)
The Asia Society Culture Club is your weekly dose of distraction. Bringing you the best recommendations of new and classic literature, films, tv, podcasts and more, from and on Asia.
Drawing from a different country each week, the club is an opportunity to step outside your usual newsfeed and discover new and classic stories from across the region. Each week features a guest programmer, selected from our network of members, experts, staff and stakeholders.